Antonio Oliver, Head of Son Espases Microbiology Laboratory with a PCR machine. | Pere Bota

Son Espases will receive coronavirus rapid detection kits either today or tomorrow which will enable them to test for the disease here on the Island instead of having to sending the analysis to Madrid.

The kits can be used to perform a specific PCR for the coronavirus, which is a laboratory technique that allows small DNA fragments to be amplified, to identify microscopic germs.

The results will be available in two to four hours instead of waiting 24-48 hours for them to come back from Madrid and the kits will help to rule out cases where coronavirus is very unlikely, such as when patients have already tested positive for flu.

At the beginning of the outbreak it was necessary to centralise all the information and sampling in the laboratory of the Carlos III Health Institute, but the criteria has changed.

Now it will only be necessary to send the samples to Madrid if someone is diagnosed as positive, to keep the global registry of cases up to date. The information will also be forwarded to the World Health Organization, or WHO.

Information Sessions

Health Workers at Son Espases were told that the rapid detection kit would arrive this week during a lecture on Tuesday which was attended by more than 300 people and specialists in Virology and Epidemiology.

Yesterday Primary Care Professionals were also briefed on the disease and simultaneous lectures have been held at Son Llàtzer where a briefing for all hospital staff is scheduled take place on Friday.

"In any epidemic, the first people to fall ill are the Health Professionals, so it is normal to be concerned," said Family Doctor and Member of the Regional Coronavirus Committee, Javier Arranz.

The Head of the Son Espases Microbiology Service, Antonio Oliver also pointed out that there is more concern amongst Health Centre workers than among patients or people on the street.

"They want to know how each of them should act at work, because we are the focus of attention right now and everyone wants to do well," he said.